Tuesday, February 12, 2008

the last ones

Between zombie movies, Doctor Who, and Children of Men, and climate change conferences, I keep thinking/dreaming about the very last humans that will be alive. I don't go into elaborate "What if" scenarios like the mentioned works of fiction, I just wonder idly, things like: will they be on Earth? Will they look like humans? Will their language have any evolved form of the English word "Cut" (this one is kind of random)? Will the very, very last human know they are the very, very last? Will the very, very last die of old age? What will be the very, very last thing he or she eats? Or smells? Or touches?

My mind keep saying "But intelligence would evolve again. Or humans would evolve." But there must be a very last intelligent life form, trillions of years in the future. There MUST, if time isn't on a loop. And how lonely will they be? There was some Neil Gaiman book where a kid traveled to the far, far future, when humans has evolved past recognition, and just could barely subsist on Earth. I found that so disturbing. I don't know why this is a thing...that fascinates my mind completely. But it is. Something to do with my search for a lack of meaning.

6 comments:

Katie said...

1. Please send the mp3!!
2. You should check out my favorite Czech zombie movie, which ALSO EXPLORES THE MEANING OF LIFE. It seems very apt for your current trajectory. It is called, amusingly enough, Choking Hazard. Seriously. Check it out. It is calling you. Like Basia Bulat is calling me.

Anonymous said...

I realize, reading your post, that I basically operate under the belief that the last humans to be alive will be in my grandchildren's generation. Is this silly? I don't know. --TB

Carrie said...

katia--
1- I will send it later today!
2- I was just thinking the other day how all Czech movies have given me nightmares eventually. I'm sure a zombie movie is just the cure for that particular ailment!

Carrie said...

TB--
I think I used to do that, but part of me started saying "No WAY will there be something powerful enough to knock out every human on the planet! There are billions of us! And we adapt!" I think worse case scenario, it will be some dystopia. Like that one with the hobo-dog in the story you read. But if we make it that far, I have confidence we'd recover eventually. There was a Doctor Who quote:

The Doctor: [as he and Rose view the Earth from Platform 1] You lot, you spend all your time thinking about dying, like you're gonna get killed by eggs, or beef, or global warming, or asteroids. But you never take time to imagine the impossible. Like maybe you survive. This is the year 5.5/apple/26, five billion years in your future, and this is the day... Hold on...
[He checks his watch, and through the window the sun suddenly flares]
The Doctor: This is the day the sun expands. Welcome to the end of the world.

ginny said...

Oh, that Doctor Who quote gave me chills! I can't remember if I've seen that episode or not.

I, also, have thought about the Very Last Person, though probably not as much as you! The problem with being the Very Last Person is that having a sense of self depends on there being other people around you whom you recognize as having separate senses of self. So the thing is, when the world around you seems empty of people who are recognizable to you it's always an apocalypse. This is a sad train of thought!

Carrie said...

For me, at least, having a sense of self also is somehow tied into knowing there are generations to follow. Knowing that my actions now, even if they don't go down in history book, will have an effect on the entire future of humanity in some way. I guess it's this effect Children of Men is exploring the most. I think you and I talked once about how maybe our love of Star Trek informed us with a sense of optimism about the future of humanity. For a while I was always reminding myself, while watching Star Trek "But the real future will be grim and dirty, if we even make it there." Now I'm doing the opposite--reminding myself that every unthinkable what-if that I imagine would probably include some survivors, and that's all you really need, along with human ingenuity.

It was the second episode of the Christopher Eccleston series (1).